Professional Development for Early Childhood Mathematics Education<br />Herbert P. Ginsburg<br />Teachers College Columbia...
Overview<br />The goals are to explain why we need extensive professional development to implement early mathematics educa...
Background<br />According to the NAS Committee on Early Childhood Mathematics:<br />“When given the appropriate learning o...
Further<br />Young children can benefit from: <br />Intentional teaching<br />Planned curriculum<br />An extensive focus o...
Much is needed to accomplish this<br />My focus will be on the early childhood teachers:<br />Who are they?<br />What do t...
Who are they?<br />Demographics (from the committee report)<br />2.3 million in ECE workforce<br />24% employed in centers...
Compensation<br />Significantly lower than K-12 teacher compensation<br />Average preschool teacher salary: 	$25,800<br />...
Poor preparation<br />They seldom get extensive and appropriate math education training in higher education<br />Colleges ...
Also, in general, they:<br />Think children cannot learn abstract math<br />Don’t understand the math<br />Believe that so...
My students say:<br />“Math has always been a dreaded subject for me. I have yet to think of math in a positive way. In fa...
What do they need to learn?<br />To get over their fear and appreciate the importance of math<br />To understand the math<...
Pre-service professional development<br />There are very few college level courses that focus on early childhood mathemati...
Four components of VITAL<br />A course syllabus (in many different subject matter areas, like couples therapy and arts edu...
Course in early mathematics education at TC (and elsewhere)<br />Content goals:<br />Children’s mathematical thinking<br /...
Class syllabus<br />
Example: One week’s reading<br />Talbot, M. (2006) The Baby Lab. New Yorker; 9/4/2006, Vol. 82 Issue 27, pp. 90-101<br />G...
But a larger context for the reading<br />
Course library<br />
Example of assignment<br />In what ways does Olivia “understand” or not understand addition? What mistakes did the intervi...
Example of video<br />
Workspace and clipping<br />
An Essay<br />
Classroom Pedagogy<br />Classroom analysis of videos as we did it<br />The instructor models<br />Close observation<br />S...
Final project<br />Choose a topic to teach<br />Review the literature<br />Videotape teaching of a lesson <br />Videotape ...
The humble, low tech  reflection<br />After each class, a few sentences on something important you learned<br />I responde...
In-service Professional Development<br />It has to be very intensive because: <br />Most new teachers coming into the syst...
Key components of in-service PD<br />Unlike pre-service, training is tied directly to the use of a curriculum<br />Trainin...
Child study/lesson study model<br />We have developed an approach in which:<br />Teachers plan a lesson based on the exist...
Conclusion<br />The children can learn math<br />There are several good curricula for teaching it<br />The weakest link is...
Contact information <br />Herbert P. Ginsburg<br />Jacob H. Schiff Foundation Professor of Psychology and Education<br />T...
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  • Professional Development for Early Childhood Mathematics Education - Herbert Ginsburg

    1. 1. Professional Development for Early Childhood Mathematics Education<br />Herbert P. Ginsburg<br />Teachers College Columbia University<br />STEM Summit<br />February 18, 2010<br />
    2. 2. Overview<br />The goals are to explain why we need extensive professional development to implement early mathematics education and what PD should entail<br />And to describe a pre-service program (VITAL) and an in-service model (child study/lesson study)<br />
    3. 3. Background<br />According to the NAS Committee on Early Childhood Mathematics:<br />“When given the appropriate learning opportunities, young children can become competent in mathematics.<br />Recommendation: A coordinated national early childhood mathematics initiative should be put in place to improve mathematics teaching and learning for all children ages 3 to 6.”<br />
    4. 4. Further<br />Young children can benefit from: <br />Intentional teaching<br />Planned curriculum<br />An extensive focus on number and geometry<br />Experiences that promote not only procedures and facts, but also: <br />concepts, <br />mathematical thinking, <br />“math talk”, <br />and “mathematizing”<br />
    5. 5. Much is needed to accomplish this<br />My focus will be on the early childhood teachers:<br />Who are they?<br />What do they need?<br />How can we help them to be come good teachers?<br />
    6. 6. Who are they?<br />Demographics (from the committee report)<br />2.3 million in ECE workforce<br />24% employed in centers, 28% in family child care, and 48% in informal family, friend, and neighbor<br />BA or More<br />Pre-K 73%<br />Head Start 36%<br />Center-based 30%<br />Home-based 11% <br />
    7. 7. Compensation<br />Significantly lower than K-12 teacher compensation<br />Average preschool teacher salary: $25,800<br />Average child care worker salary: $19,670<br />Average Head Start teacher salary: $24,608<br />Many ECE teachers do not receive health insurance benefits from their employers<br />(So why should talented people go into this field?)<br />7<br />
    8. 8. Poor preparation<br />They seldom get extensive and appropriate math education training in higher education<br />Colleges give the least training in the subject with which prospective teachers need the most help!<br /> They seldom get extensive and appropriate in-service training once they are in the classrooms<br />
    9. 9. Also, in general, they:<br />Think children cannot learn abstract math<br />Don’t understand the math<br />Believe that social-emotional development and play should be emphasized above all else<br />Believe teaching and curriculum are developmentally inappropriate<br />Teach math badly (if they do teach it)<br />Are afraid of math and don’t want to teach it– thus:<br />
    10. 10. My students say:<br />“Math has always been a dreaded subject for me. I have yet to think of math in a positive way. In fact I have to take a math course for my New York certification, and I'm trying my hardest to find a way around it.” <br />“My previous history as a poor math student makes me fear teaching math to young children in the future, that being partially my reason for choosing early childhood education.”<br />
    11. 11. What do they need to learn?<br />To get over their fear and appreciate the importance of math<br />To understand the math<br />To understand children’s math abilities<br />To form actionable and specific connections between theory and practice (no vague ideology)<br />To assess and teach<br />To implement a curriculum<br />
    12. 12. Pre-service professional development<br />There are very few college level courses that focus on early childhood mathematics education (age 3 to grade 2)<br />With NSF support, we have created a model course with several features<br />This is of course only one approach and more is needed<br />
    13. 13. Four components of VITAL<br />A course syllabus (in many different subject matter areas, like couples therapy and arts education)<br />New technology and pedagogyfor “clipping”<br />Higher education classroom pedagogy<br />Digital library <br />
    14. 14. Course in early mathematics education at TC (and elsewhere)<br />Content goals:<br />Children’s mathematical thinking<br />Pedagogy<br />Curriculum<br />Mathematics<br />Assessment (particularly clinical interview)<br />Traditional: syllabus, weekly readings (on the “new” research) and class meetings<br />
    15. 15. Class syllabus<br />
    16. 16. Example: One week’s reading<br />Talbot, M. (2006) The Baby Lab. New Yorker; 9/4/2006, Vol. 82 Issue 27, pp. 90-101<br />Ginsburg, H. P. (1989). Children’s Arithmetic (Second edition). Austin, TX: Pro-Ed. Chapter 2: "Learning to Count"<br />Gelman, R. (2000). The epigenesis of mathematical thinking. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 21(1), 27-37.<br />Ramani, G. B., & Siegler, R. S. (2008). Promoting Broad and Stable Improvements in Low-Income Children’s Numerical Knowledge Through Playing Number Board Games Child Development, 79(2), 375-394.<br />
    17. 17. But a larger context for the reading<br />
    18. 18. Course library<br />
    19. 19. Example of assignment<br />In what ways does Olivia “understand” or not understand addition? What mistakes did the interviewer make in interviewing her? Cite evidence to support your argument. Given what you saw, what would you do to teach her addition? <br />
    20. 20. Example of video<br />
    21. 21. Workspace and clipping<br />
    22. 22. An Essay<br />
    23. 23. Classroom Pedagogy<br />Classroom analysis of videos as we did it<br />The instructor models<br />Close observation<br />Specification of evidence<br />Interpretation<br />Challenge hypotheses<br />Offer alternative hypotheses<br />Social interaction: argument and collaboration<br />Respect for reason and modesty<br />
    24. 24. Final project<br />Choose a topic to teach<br />Review the literature<br />Videotape teaching of a lesson <br />Videotape clinical interview of a child before and after the lesson<br />Write a VITAL essay, embedding key video evidence, analyzing teaching and interpreting student’s learning<br />
    25. 25. The humble, low tech reflection<br />After each class, a few sentences on something important you learned<br />I responded to all<br />Started the next class with selected reflections that raised interesting issues or alternative points<br />A strange kind of intimacy that included discussion of students’ fears and anxieties<br />
    26. 26. In-service Professional Development<br />It has to be very intensive because: <br />Most new teachers coming into the system are likely to be poorly trained<br />Teachers already in the system were also poorly trained and in general have avoided math teaching for many years<br />
    27. 27. Key components of in-service PD<br />Unlike pre-service, training is tied directly to the use of a curriculum<br />Training is extensive and ongoing, including an initial training at the outset of the school year, with follow-up sessions<br />Teachers are supported through onsite coaching at least once per month<br />Teachers have opportunities for hands-on practice, discussion, and collaboration<br />
    28. 28. Child study/lesson study model<br />We have developed an approach in which:<br />Teachers plan a lesson based on the existing curriculum<br />A teacher tries it out with her class<br />She interviews several students (high, medium, low) about what they have learned<br />Teachers meet to discuss videos of the lesson and the interviews<br />The entire process repeats over the year<br />
    29. 29. Conclusion<br />The children can learn math<br />There are several good curricula for teaching it<br />The weakest link is the teachers<br />We have done a terrible job of preparing them and supporting them<br />We need extensive professional development at all levels (for professors of ECME, for prospective teachers, for practicing teachers<br />This is a massive job but unless we do it,we will not succeed in implementing effective early math education<br />
    30. 30. Contact information <br />Herbert P. Ginsburg<br />Jacob H. Schiff Foundation Professor of Psychology and Education<br />Teachers College Columbia University<br />Department of Human Development<br />542 Grace Dodge Hall<br />525 W. 120th Street<br />New York, NY 10027<br />212.678.3443<br />ginsburg@tc.edu<br />

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